Smart #3 debuts in Europe - the little SUV that packs a big punch

Max McDee, 03 September 2023

Smart, the maker of cute, tiny cars that always seemed like they were built to squeeze into those impossible city parking spaces, has grown up. Smart cars were the darlings of urban commuters until the company decided it had enough of its cute image and instead, it wanted a piece of the SUV pie. But not just any pie - Smart went all electric. After launching its first all-electric Smart #1, the company has been busy cooking up and launching in China another pint-sized puncher: the Smart #3 SUV. And now it has finally arrived in Europe.

While many SUVs are built like tanks, ready to conquer the wild terrains of suburbia, Smart's approach is refreshing. For starters, let's talk power because Smart is not kidding around here. The base model Smart #3 packs a single electric motor that churns out 268 horsepower. Yes, that's right, from a base model of a Smart car. If that's not enough for your highway escapades, there's the Brabus model with a twin-motor setup producing an eye-watering 422 horsepower. With that much power, the Brabus hits 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds, while the base model needs 5.8 seconds.

Smart #3 debuts in Europe - the little SUV that packs a big punch

You'd think that kind of power would mean sacrificing range, but that's where you'd be wrong. The single-motor Smart #3 offers 283 miles of WLTP-certified range. Opt for the more powerful Brabus model, and you're still looking at a decent 270 miles. That's not bad for a day's adventure. But what if you're in a rush? No problem! With DC fast charging at 150 kilowatts, you can get from 10% to 80% of battery charge in just 30 minutes.

Smart has some special treats for the European debut. The 25th Anniversary Edition is based on the Brabus model, this version features a panoramic galaxy roof, upgraded LED headlights, and an interior that screams luxury. The seats are dressed in two-tone black-and-white leather, and for good measure, Smart thrown in some snazzy red highlights.

Smart #3 debuts in Europe - the little SUV that packs a big punch

Inside, you'll find a cockpit designed for the modern driver. A 12.8-inch touchscreen dominates the dash, flanked by a 9.2-inch HD digital instrument cluster. A 10-inch head-up display makes sure you keep your eyes on the road, while a Beats audio system with 13 speakers ensures you'll have a full concert experience during your drive.

The Smart #3 SUV is making its official European debut at the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich. European customers can expect to buy one and have it delivered early in 2024. There's still no word on pricing, but let's keep our fingers crossed that this little monster doesn't break the bank.

Smart #3 debuts in Europe - the little SUV that packs a big punch

Smart's #3 SUV proves that size isn't everything, especially when you pack in features and performance that rival much larger vehicles. It’s a huge departure for a company that was initially a joint venture between Swatch and Mercedes. That's right, a watch company and an automaker teamed up to give birth to this unique brand 25 years ago. After 25 years and under the new stewardship of Geely and Mercedes, the company is walking away from its cute-car maker image and is moving on to the still small, but premium electric SUV corner of the market. Small, cute, and wheezy Smart cart cars are being replaced by serious hot-hatch SUV creations that - at least on paper - look very tempting.


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Reader comments

Well, nothing says Smart/Mini more than an SUV! :-D

  • Nickc J.

Losing sight of the original look, another Mini mistake.



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